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20131202
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CNN
Dec 8, 2013 10:00am PST
learned the language of his oppressors and studied their culture. even after the election of a new government with a new constitution, mandela made sure that the old establishment, the civil service, the army, even the hated police was largely kept in place. the white business class was encouraged to participate actively in the new south africa. compare that to so many transitions, for example iraq, where the new regime came in, fired or jailed or killed everyone from the old, and a ten-year civil war followed. instead of vengeance, mandela sought truth and reconciliation. he was not a saint, but rather a political genius. he did what he did because it saved his country. when he came to power, many wondered how he would steer the new country's foreign policy. after all, the african national congress had been supported by the revolution aers of the world, gadhafi, arafat, castro, but mandela knew what was in his country's best interests. he steered it in a pro-western, pro-democratic, pro-market direction, and yet he kept faith with his old comrades honoring them, never forgetting t
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